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Coach confident strength of Glasgow and Edinburgh bodes well for Scotland

By PA
(Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Glasgow forwards coach Nigel Carolan believes the form of the two Scottish club sides bodes well for the national team ahead of the Six Nations.

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Both Warriors and Edinburgh are currently in the top four of the United Rugby Championship after posting five-try victories over Ospreys and Cardiff at the weekend.

There were also big victories in Europe for the Scottish pair just before Christmas, with Glasgow defeating Exeter and Edinburgh winning away to Saracens.

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Irishman Carolan feels the sense of buoyancy at the two clubs can only be of benefit to national team coach Gregor Townsend as the Scots prepare to kick off their Six Nations campaign at home to England on 5 February.

He said: “Gregor’s now got two teams that are playing a brand of rugby that complements the national team. Both teams have got the ambition to play but they’re also able to back it up with execution.

“We got five tries at the weekend and Edinburgh got five tries as well, both against really gritty defensive Welsh teams.

“It’s great when the two teams are performing consistently well. I think that bodes well for the Six Nations.

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“It won’t be easy but if Scotland can carry on the form of the two club sides, there are scalps to be had.”

Carolan admits Glasgow are spoiled for choice in terms of personnel and he feels that depth of talent is reflected in the Scotland set-up.

He said: “Just as we’re building depth internally, Gregor is building depth nationally with Scottish players and it’s great to see. I think having a very competitive national side is filtering down into the two clubs.

“I think we all have to complement each other. There’s a beauty in being kind of smaller in terms of only having the two teams, as long as there’s synergy or alignment between the three entities: the national team and the two clubs.”

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Reflecting on his own team’s depth, Carolan said: “We still have guys like Jack Dempsey, Rufus McLean, Richie Gray and George Horne to try and accommodate, who weren’t involved at the weekend, so we’re starting to build a good bit of depth.

“It’s really healthy because, as coaches, when you have depth and confidence, we’re not really too bothered what team we select because we know everybody can perform for us.”

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